Andy McSmith's Diary: Why we have one good reason for being thankful for Gordon Brown...

 

Poor old Gordon Brown. Scottish television has just shown an extract from a play by Kevin Toolis, The Confessions of Gordon Brown, that will have its premiere at the Edinburgh Festival. Its premise is that Gordon Brown was our greatest failure as Prime Minister in 200 years.

Part of the Brown legacy is that we never had a referendum on whether to join the euro. He and Tony Blair were locked in a power struggle over that issue 10 years ago this week. Blair wanted us to join; Brown wanted to keep us out. On 11 June 2003, Alastair Campbell noted in his diary: “Things haven’t worked out on the euro and TB was pretty fed up… The judgement was settling that GB basically thwarted him.”

Imagine if Blair had had his way and had persuaded the public to vote “Yes”. Sterling would be a thing of the past, and we would have had to help  bailout stricken eurozone economies. Perhaps we should be more thankful for Gordon.

...and why Mongolia is thankful for Tony

Congratulations to the government of Mongolia on recovering the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The reptile turned up in the US and the Mongolians claimed it had been stolen. US authorities investigated, filed charges against the importer, seized the bones, and sent them back to Mongolia.

At the weekend, huge crowds packed the capital, Ulan Bator, for a glimpse of the monster. This success came less than two months after the Mongolians had hired a new adviser to ease their commercial relations with the outside world. That adviser? The aforementioned Tony Blair.

Sir Robert comes clean on interests

The Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee has chosen a new pro tem chairman in place of Tim Yeo. He is Sir Robert Smith, a Liberal Democrat MP and a baronet, who has declared in the register of members interests that he has shares in Rio Tinto and Shell. MPs only have to declare shareholdings worth more than £66,000. Let us hope Sir Robert’s interests do not get him into anything like the difficulties Mr Yeo is experiencing.

Thatcher funeral: there’s still time to protest

The facility on the Government’s website that enables members of the public to create e-petitions is a splendid noticeboard for people who want to make the world a better place. One woman wanted the legal age for marriage to be raised to 21, so as to lower the divorce rate. Sadly, no one signed, and if you’re thinking of appending your signature, you are too late. The deadline was today.

However, it is not too late to join the 38,346 people who have signed a petition demanding “No state funeral for Maggie Thatcher”. The closing date for that is next February.

UFO damage? Just check with Bilderberg

Today’s Sun carried a photograph of a Chinese aircraft that had just made an emergency landing with its nose caved in. “Airline officials have so far refused to say what caused the damage – but flying saucer experts say it could have been a UFO,” I read. But who are the “flying saucer experts”? The article does not say, but I bet they were at last week’s Bilderberg Conference.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform